Shakespeare 's Othello - The Mechanisms Of Evil As Well As Ideas By The Jacobean Society

Shakespeare 's Othello - The Mechanisms Of Evil As Well As Ideas By The Jacobean Society

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Shakespeare explores the mechanisms of evil as well as ideas held by the Jacobean society in the play Othello. Analysing the play exposes it 's changing views towards dominant ideas of the society in which it was produced. Early in the play the derogatory black stereotype of the time and patriarchy are challenged. The play later contrasts this and endorses patriarchy and the black stereotype. Othello supports the belief of Christianity through the repetition of Heaven and Hell and Eurocentric idea through its structure. The development, dialogue and actions of Iago, Othello, Desdemona, Emilia and Cassio influence the play 's attitude towards the dominant ideas.
Othello is not focused on race but it does have racist discourse throughout it. In the Jacobean era Christianity was the major belief of the society and people feared superstition which was connected with black people. The play supports the idea of black people being superstitious through dialogue. Brabantio believes Othello has won Desdemona "By spells and medicines bought of mountebanks; For nature so preposterously to err, Being not deficient, blind, or lame of sense, Sans witchcraft could not." (Act 1 Scene 3). The spells and medicines were bought from a fraudulent and deceiving person, implying it is an evil trade. Brabantio believes that without this witchcraft Othello could have no possibly won over his daughter, this is because it was deemed unnatural for black and white people to marry at the time. Brabantio is racist through his dialogue and endorses the idea that black people were superstitious. Othello at the beginning of the play challenged the idea that black people were wild, animalistic, uncultured and evil. Othello is characterised to be the opposite throug...


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...en were superior to women. Emilia 's characterisation through her dialogue as an outspoken and bold woman ultimately lead to her death. Her attempt to speak out was shut down by Patriarchy as Iago killed her. To conclude the death of these two women uphold the idea of patriarchy.
The dominant attitudes held my the society in the Jacobean era that are present in Othello are challenged to an extent but are at the end of the play supported. This was likely so that the play would be well received by an audience at the time. Through narrative and dramatic conventions the play has conflicting views towards ideas about race, endorses patriarchy, eurocentricity and Christianity. The presentation of the ideas in Othello challenge a modern day audience 's views towards those same ideas and make them think about how much times have changed in terms of gender, race and religion.

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